Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hummingbird Rescue

It was one of those extremely hot and humid days in the south that makes it hard to breath. It was only ten o’clock in the morning and I decided to take my morning coffee break out on the loading dock at the back of the building. As I entered the back part of the building and left the air conditioned front the heat was almost unbearable.

As I was standing on the loading dock enjoying the day in spite of the heat I heard a buzzing sound that got my attention. As I watched a hummingbird flew right up to within a foot of me and hovered from side to side as if doing some sort of dance. After about a full minute it backed up and flew around me with amazing speed and flew right inside the building.

I have over the years had birds fly into the building and usually if I turn out the overhead lights they will fly toward the light of the open door. So I ran over and turned off the lights. The hummingbird just stayed up around the rafters with a very high ceiling.

Being that this was a wholesale floral supply company I thought perhaps if I were to took a red colored dish and filled it with sugar water and placed it out that the hummingbird would come down from the ceiling and I could shoo it out the open door. Didn’t work so I went to the cooler and set out a whole bucket full of red flowers to try and lure it down toward the door. That attempt failed also.

I was starting to worry because I knew that hummingbird had to eat frequently and it was so hot inside the building. I stood looking up at the hummingbird flying around the rafters wondering how I was going to get it out of the building. I noticed it was flying close to the loft side of the building so I ran up into the loft.

From the loft I could see it was quickly becoming worn from the extreme heat and was starting to slow down considerably. It was out of my reach so I ran back downstairs and got a broom to try and reach past it and shoo it back over the loft area. That worked somewhat but not completely. It had bee almost an hour and It was so hot that I was totally soaked from head to toe and thought I might pass out from the heat. I just thought I have to help this beautiful hummingbird that is trapped.

I climbed up onto the rail and reached out and held to the rafter with one hand while trying to reach out and raise my hand up the other side. Finally this was working and the hummingbird was moving slowly toward me. I was moving slowly so as not to scare it and cause it fly away from me. As I moved my hand closer it would move a little closer toward me but just not close enough. The hummingbird was moving so slowly and I was afraid for it. I got my hand right up next to it and it moved toward the rafter and tried to land but instead just collapsed into my open hand. I was really upset because it was limp and lifeless and had died in my hand. I jumped down from the rail and went back downstairs.

I didn’t know what to do but I thought I had to try something. I went to the red dish of sugar water and stuck its long beak into the liquid. Nothing happened. Now I’m standing there crying and looking at its limp, lifeless body lying in my hand. It was so beautiful and green and its feet were just so tiny.

I thought one more time I would try to get it to drink and stuck its beak back into the water and I just held it there for about a minute. I pulled it up and held it beak down and watched as a drip hung on the very tip of its beak. Then the most amazing thing happened. This humming bird that had been dead for ten minutes in my hand stuck its tongue out and caught the drip hanging from its beak. My heart leapt with excitement at this sign of life and I stuck its beak back into the water. All of a sudden its tongue started flicking in and out and lapped up the sugar water. The hummingbird immediately perked up and turned to look me right in the eyes. Then it turned its head and drank some more.

I was excited as I walked back out onto the loading dock and opened my hand. Immediately its wings started whirring and buzzing and it slowly lifted up from my hand into the air. It turned to face me and did the sideways; back and forth hummingbirds dance for me once more. It tried to fly around me and back toward the building but I put my hand up flat, palm out and pushed it away from me. It turned slowly and I watched as it flew away. I was amazed at how far away it was and I could still see a little speck.

I want back into the building dazed and amazed at what had just taken place. I closed the loading dock door and went back to my office to go back to work.